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Reflecting on the Past Year

Posted by Gretchen Reiter on

It’s the end of the year and without some guardrails outlined to the inevitable self-reflection this time of year brings, you can end up in a ditch of despair and guilt.

Forget putting last year’s highlights and lowlights in the normal categories - what we wish we would’ve done (or not done), what we need to do, what habits we need to start (…or end) – we suggest a different and better way for checking yourself in the rearview mirror.

Over the past few years, I’ve worked to change the mental model around this time of year to make it positive, uplifting, and mindful of the blessings this year possessed by making a lists of memories. I use this time of year to basically make a list of all the memories of the past year (yes, that may include some achievements but it not always) – it’s the small things that really make the year special.

For example:

First family trip to the slopes
Full clean out of my closet
Purchased new used car

Also, I try to mentally prepare for what’s ahead by creating a list of predictions for the New Year. No, I am not talking about sports predictions, but I try to frame out what I can anticipate might happen that year both positive and negative. I think about my stage of life and what’s to come – parents getting sick, kids’ issues at school; my career – challenges and opportunities; personal life, etc. By framing out the New Year, it gives me a sense of what is going to shape the next year and what I need to be preparing for and working towards.

Use this free template to help you look back with peace and look forward with preparation.

However you reflect upon the last year, we challenge you to change the mental model to one of thankfulness. Thankful for the moments that created the past year, taught you lessons, and brought you to the place you are right now. We hope that you are thankful for what you have but fearless for what you want.

Have a happy and safe New Year!

Leigh Anne & Gretchen

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